Industry News

Where the Van Meets the Small Truck

Throughout its existence the Iveco Daily has always been a bit of an outlier because its truck like design lies at the point where the van meets the small truck. Tim Giles takes its latest iteration for a spin.

Since its relaunch on the Australian market, back in 2002, the Iveco Daily has held a steady position in the van and small truck market. It has not grown to dominate the market and a number of other players have come and gone, but it has kept up steady numbers year in, year out.

Of course, all brands and models have their ups and downs, but the Daily seems to have cemented its place in several niches in the light duty market. Its design is not the same as any of its competitors and that gives it some advantages in the niches where it goes well, like motorhomes.

While other van brands have made fundamental changes to layout and design, the Daily has stuck to its guns and retained a truck-like design at its core. This gives the Daily a bit more resilience and strength, it also adds some weight to the van when empty.

The rigidity and strength that comes from the ladder frame chassis is at the core of the design has enabled the many iterations of the design to stick with rear wheel drive at a time when many in the market were going to, or flirting, with a front wheel drive layout.

This was a boon for sales early in the model’s life. It gained a reputation as being the van/truck that could be overloaded and still handle the task at hand. Of course, this sort of behaviour is no longer tolerated, but it does illustrate the strength of this design. Other van designs can feel a little fragile or skittish running at highway speeds when fully loaded. The Daily never has.

Basically, if you are running around in a van or cab chassis which is loaded a lot of the time, then the Daily will feel stable from the driver’s point of view. So there was no trepidation when PowerTorque picked up the two examples available for a test drive with a a pallet loaded with four full 200 litre drums on each vehicle.

The Iveco brand has not performed well overall in the truck market to a certain extent, in Australia, in recent years, and the end of the old Acco design has highlighted that issue. However, there is one area where it does still perform. The Daily has had a strong showing since its return in 2002. It’s sold well and it’s sold in good numbers. It’s not going to be number one in the market, but it’ll always sell well because there are people who recognise, it’s got different values, there are different strengths.


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